What is a Voice Modulator?
In Dalek related terms, a voice modulator is an electronic unit that distorts the user's voice. It (broadly) comprises of a main unit which contains the electronics that do the work, along with various attached peripherals including a microphone for the user to speak into and speakers which broadcast the distorted results. It is also usually connected to an external battery.
Some voice modulators have internal amplifiers and some (like the Mk5e and the DVM8) rely on an external solution. Most voice modulators that are designed to be fitted into Daleks also have a 'sound to light' feature which allows the dome lights to flash automatically when the operator speaks into the microphone. The units tend to run on either 12v or sometimes 24v, which is supplied by a battery, usually situated in the skirt/base section. Some voice modulators have additional features such as extra sound effects which can be triggered when the gun is fired, etc.
On classic Daleks, the speakers are often fitted into the shoulder section, with the holes for the speakers cut out of the shoulders behind the upper collars, where they are hidden from view. This is not possible on later Daleks with integral, moulded collars. The solution here is to either mount the speaker(s) in the dome or in the base, facing downward. The main objective is to put as much distance between the speaker(s) and the microphone as possible, in order to reduce the possibility of feedback. Some voice modulators now include circuitry which helps to reduce feedback, making it less of an issue and allowing for more creative positioning of speakers.
There have been many voice modulator units available to Dalek builders over the years. These are often offered via websites, social media and via the Project Dalek Forum. Units have become progressively more advanced and modern units offer a wide range of features.
Some enthusiasts have even adapted the versatile Raspberry Pi to work as a voice modulator. Forum members can read more about this here.
The Project Dalek Forum has a dedicated section for all things related to voice modulators. Many different types of voice modulators are covered within that section.
We also offer our own solutions in the form of the Project Dalek Voice Modulator Mk5e and the more advanced DVM7 (both self-assembly solutions) and the state-of-the-art DVM8 which replaces the Mk6 as our flagship voice modulator.
Details of our units, past and present can be found on the following pages: